BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil’s suspended President Dilma Rousseff said on Tuesday that the country’s interim government has suspended her use of Air Force planes and will no longer pay her hotel bills.
The leftist leader, who was suspended one month ago to stand trial in the Senate for allegedly breaking budget laws, said the moves are meant to limit her ability to move around the country and get out her message that her impeachment was illegal.
“I have no right to use an Air Force plane to travel,” she told foreign reporters, criticizing interim President Michel Temer’s decision to only allow her on a government plane to fly to her hometown of Porto Alegre.
She said the government had refused to pay her hotel bill in Sao Paulo during a recent visit.
And it gets worse.
When an employee of the cavernous modernistic presidential residence where she lives with her mother went to buy food supplies 10 days ago he found the credit card had been blocked, a Rousseff aide said.
The card was restored a few days later, along with the presidential news clipping service that had been stopped, after Brazilian media reported on it.
A flower supply to decorate the residence to receive visitors has been dropped, the aide said. He said Rousseff’s security staff had not been reduced, but the Temer government has moved to cut her staff of 30, and she lost her closest aide, Giles Azevedo, this week.
“They are petty-minded things,” said Rousseff, who accuses her former vice president Temer of plotting to replace her with a conservative government intent on rolling back social advances made during the 13 years her Workers Party was in power.
She criticized Brazilian media for biased coverage of her ouster. “I have been taken off the air by some TV channels.”
Rousseff’s impeachment was fueled by the sprawling corruption scandal surrounding state-run oil company Petrobras and Brazil’s worst recession in decades, both of which undermined her popularity.
If the Senate convicts her in a final vote expected in mid-August, Rousseff will be definitively removed from office and Temer will serve out her term through 2018.
Political risk analysts such as the Eurasia consultancy give Rousseff only a 20 percent chance of holding onto office, but the former urban guerrilla member when Brazil was under a military dictatorship has not given up the fight.
Rousseff said she is preparing a letter to Brazilians that will offer a new political pact that could include a referendum on calling early elections if she survives the impeachment trial. She hopes the letter could sway undecided senators.
She will tour states in the poor Northeast of Brazil this week, but by charter plane paid for by the Workers Party.
Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Andrew Hay